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Hong Kong Retains Title as World’s Most Expensive City for Expats

Hong Kong has once again been recognized as the world’s most expensive city for expats looking to relocate for work, according to the latest Mercer Cost of Living Survey. Meanwhile, the capital of Nigeria, Abuja, has been identified as the least expensive city for international workers.

The rankings this year have been significantly influenced by factors such as inflation fluctuations and exchange rate variations, which directly impact the salaries and savings of expatriates. Increased economic and geopolitical instability, along with local conflicts and emergencies, have also contributed to higher costs in areas such as housing, utilities, local taxes, and education.

In top-ranked cities like Hong Kong, Singapore, and Zurich, the high cost of living is driven by expensive housing markets, high transportation costs, and the increased price of goods and services. Conversely, in cities like Islamabad, Lagos, and Abuja, the lower cost of living for international employees is partly due to the depreciation of local currencies.

The Mercer Cost of Living Survey provides a comprehensive comparison of living costs for expatriates across various cities worldwide, taking into account factors that affect the financial well-being of workers abroad. This year’s results underscore the significant impact of global economic trends and local conditions on the cost of living for expatriates.

Top 10 Most Expensive Cities for Expats

  1. Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of China (No change from last year).
  2. Singapore (No change).
  3. Zurich, Switzerland (No change).
  4. Geneva, Switzerland (No change).
  5. Basel, Switzerland (No change).
  6. Bern, Switzerland (Up 1).
  7. New York, USA (Down 1).
  8. London, UK (Up 9).
  9. Nassau, Bahamas (Up 1).
  10. Los Angeles, USA (Up 1)

As we reported earlier, experts recently named the 10 best European cities in 2024, based on the level of life satisfaction among local residents. Topping the list is Zurich, Switzerland, previously recognized as one of the world’s most expensive cities to live in.

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